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Your DSPs and all staff members supporting people with IDD must understand the signs of and treatments for the Fatal Four. Training and developing your staff to assist with the diagnosis, treatment and management of these fatal conditions will improve the quality of the care you provide and potentially save lives.
There are four major health issues that are commonly linked to preventable death in individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) residing in congregate or in community-based settings. These health issues, commonly referred to as “The Fatal Four,” are aspiration, dehydration, constipation and seizures. As more individuals with IDD move into community settings, direct support professionals (DSPs) need to be familiar with these common medical conditions.
Treatment and management of healthcare needs among patients with IDD can be challenging. Individuals with IDD have unique needs that are not always consistent with those of the general population. Additionally, many of these individuals cannot verbalize symptoms, and behaviors may mask the signs of life-threatening conditions. Therefore, all DSPs, qualified intellectual disability professionals (QIDPs), and registered nurses supporting people with IDD must have an in-depth knowledge of the Fatal Four causes, symptoms and treatments.
People with IDD have a higher risk of problems swallowing and aspiration (one of the Fatal Five). Find out why and what to do about it now.
Recognizing the risk factors and signs of dehydration, and the other Fatal Five, can help DSPs keep clients safe and healthy.
Learning the signs and symptoms of seizures, one of the Fatal Five, can help DSPs and other IDD staff keep their clients safe.
Constipation is never fun, but if DSPs know the signs and symptoms of constipation and the other Fatal Five it doesn't have to be deadly.
Relias created these posters on The Fatal Four to help you educate your employees and protect the people you serve. Print out these posters on legal-sized paper, hang them in your offices and facilities, and save lives.
This webinar reviews common health emergencies and chronic health conditions that can rob a person with developmental disabilities of their health and life.
This course covers common health problems for people with IDD, including dehydration, UTIs, constipation, and aspiration.
Dehydration, constipation, aspiration and seizures make up the Fatal Four.
Difficulty swallowing, difficulty sitting up straight, and eating too quickly are just a few of the risk factors for aspiration. Read more
Many people with IDD experience disruptions in their body’s senses and signals. These individuals might not know they are thirsty. Others may have difficulty communicating thirst or may be unable to get a drink on their own when they need one. Read more
Direct support professionals (DSPs) should use these 9 tips to help reduce the risk for constipation among the individuals they support, including watching sodium intake, integrating physical activity into the day, and encouraging a well-balanced diet. Read about all 9 ways
There are 10 ways DSPs can help to prevent seizures or injuries that can occur during a seizure. These include providing medication support and encouraging the individual to take showers. Read all 10 ways
In response to the need for staff training and education around the Fatal Four, Relias has developed a series of courses on Healthcare Needs for People with IDD. This five-part series covers the signs, symptoms, and causes of the Fatal Four and other health problems common in people with IDD. It also explains prevention methods and treatment options.